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Roman author, born around 125 A.D. in Madaurus in the province of Africa. Like most of his contemporaries, he was trained in law, rhetoric, and philosophy. He wrote several works:

  • The Metamorphoses, commonly called the Golden Ass after a passage in St. Augustine's City of God, a novel about his adventures in Greece. He goes to visit a friend, to fall in love with his maid and discover his friend's wife is a witch. He tries to steal her potion for flying, but drinks the wrong one, and is turned into an ass. He spends the rest of the book looking for a cure (to eat a single rose), and suffering (he is stolen by robbers, beaten, lost, sold, purchased; imagine what would happen to you as a donkey). He finally catches a passing procession of priests of Isis, strewing roses on the street, and is both reverted and converted. The last book is on the wonders of the mysteries.
  • The Apology. He was apparently charged with witchcraft in his native town, and spends the work defending himself by trying to prove what a wonderful philosopher he was (far too intelligent to believe in such superstitious bunk).
  • De deo Socratis, a short work on the philosophical nature of Socrates daimon.
There are others, most of them spurious or disputed, but these are the assured and most well known.

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